KENSINGTON CENTRAL LIBRARY INCLUDING ADJOINING PYLONS

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II*
List Entry Number:
1119724
Date first listed:
24-Apr-1998
Statutory Address:
KENSINGTON CENTRAL LIBRARY INCLUDING ADJOINING PYLONS, HORNTON STREET W8
Statutory Address:
KENSINGTON CENTRAL LIBRARY INCLUDING ADJOINING PYLONS, PHILLIMORE WALK W8

Map

Ordnance survey map of KENSINGTON CENTRAL LIBRARY INCLUDING ADJOINING PYLONS
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Location

Statutory Address:
KENSINGTON CENTRAL LIBRARY INCLUDING ADJOINING PYLONS, HORNTON STREET W8
Statutory Address:
KENSINGTON CENTRAL LIBRARY INCLUDING ADJOINING PYLONS, PHILLIMORE WALK W8

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Greater London Authority
District:
Kensington and Chelsea (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 25422 79598

Details



TQ 2579 NW HORNTON STREET, W8 (west side) 249/30/10039 Kensington Central Library including adjoining pylons)

GV II*

Public library. 1958-60 by E Vincent Harris. Steel frame clad in hand-made brick, Bath and Portland stone. Tile roofs exposed as hips to ends. Rectangular plan of six bay centre with broad, projecting end pavilions. Two storeys with basements and attic, the ground floor housing the lending library and the first floor having the reference library; the eastern pavilion has the entrance and staircase, the western the children's and local studies collections. Portland stone base, cornice and parapet. All windows square headed and with small panes, those to first floor and to five-bay returns with architrave surrounds. The end pavilions are the most prominent part of the composition, with giant arched openings with stone surrounds and keystones. Main entrance in eastern pavilion surmounted with busts of Chaucer and Caxton. Phillimore Walk elevation with stone pylons surmounted respectively by Lion and Unicorn figures symbolic of the Royal status granted to the Borough of Kensington in 1941. These and bronze gilded figure 'Genius' in parapet by William McMillan.

Interior is particularly well-preserved. Entrance hall and children's area lined with Doulting stone, that by the entrance with long inscription to wisdom, and plaque to the library's opening by the Queen Mother on 13 July 1960. The rest of the ground floor lined with acoustic panels, with square piers, original bookcases of Ghana mahogany inlaid with brass, and terrazzo floors. Dog-leg stair with glass panels etched with 'K' emblem lead to more sumptously appointed reference library, whose walls and six pairs of columns are panelled in walnut, and which also retains original bookcases and fittings. Kensington Central Library is a remarkable and completely surviving example of Harris's post-war. work in the classical, 'neo Renaissance' idiom - as demanded by the council. It is the last of a long sequence of distinguished public buildings (beginning before the First World War) by the most distinguished specialist of the genre. (Official Architecture and Planning, London, 506-9)



Listing NGR: TQ2542279598

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
469222
Legacy System:
LBS

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 18 Feb 2007
Reference: IOE01/16322/18
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Anthony Rau. Source Historic England Archive
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